Feminist Data Set

2017 — Current Abuse, AI, Data, Feminism, Politics

Feminist Data Set is a multi-year project that interrogates every step of the AI process that includes data collection, data labeling, data training, selecting an algorithm to use, the algorithmic model, and then designing how the model is then placed into a chat bot (and what the chatbot looks like).  Every step exists to question and analyze the pipeline of creating using machine learning—is each step feminist, is it intersectional, does each step have bias and how can that bias be removed? 

Current projects under the Feminist Data Set umbrella include Feminist Data Set workshops, the Feminist Data Set Tool Kit, and TRK (an open source tool to address wage inequity in data training and data labeling). This project has been shown at LABoral, Ars Electronica, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Modern Arts Bologna, SPACE Art and Technology, RePublica, SOHO20 Gallery, as well as others. Download the tool kit here

More about the project: Feminist Data Set is a public facing, social justice art practice. For example, the collecting of feminist data is held through public workshops and forums. Feminist Data Set imagines data creation, as well as data sets and archiving, as an act of protest. In a time where so much personal data is caught and hidden by large technology companies, used for targeted advertising and algorithmic suggestions, what does it mean to make a data set about political ideology, one designed for use as protest and to make a data set as a community?

Pedagogically, Feminist Data Set operates in a similar vein to Thomas Thwaites’s “Toaster Project,” a critical design project in which Thwaites builds a commercial toaster from scratch. Feminist Data Set, however, takes a critical and artistic view on software, particularly machine learning. What does it mean to thoughtfully make machine learning, to carefully consider every angle of making, iterating, and designing? Every step of this process needs to be thoroughly re-examined through a feminist lens.

Download our open source tool kit and essays on Feminist Data Set, funded by the Clinic for Open Source Arts (COSA) at the University of Denver.

from the installation at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2018
Sorting Feminist Data collected at SOHO20, July 2018
Sorting Feminist Data collected at SOHO20, July 2018
from a workshop at Z2X, 2019
Feminist Data SetDownload